1.23.2016

Icing on the cake...

    I can count the times I've worn makeup on one hand. Most people don't care about it. Why should they? It's my face after all. Naturally I was dumbfounded when a close relative confronted me about my face.

    One day when I was at a relatives house she pulled me aside and asked to talk to me. I was concerned that something serious was wrong. She said that she was "worried I was not normal because I did not show interest in makeup and dresses". As I stared at her with my jaw dropping more by the second she compared me to a cake. "Cake tastes good plain, but even the best cake needs a little frosting."

     Did she just compare me to a cake? A cake that needs frosting? What the f*** just happened?  I had no clue how to handle this situation so I walked away and stayed in the bathroom for a few minutes. I didn't and still don't understand why this  happened. 

     I won't lie though for a while it bugged me. It made me second guess myself.  Comments can hurt, and when they come from people you are close to they seem to hurt a little more. Be careful with your words. Thank goodness I can laugh about the ridiculousness of this now. I hate to disappoint everyone but I'm a human not a cake; and I plan on staying that way.

22 comments:

  1. In my experience, when something like this comes up, it's best to treat it as a teaching moment. Rather than keeping it to yourself and let it bother you and write about it on your blog while holding a grudge about how "backwards" someone is and how they've wronged you, you can put on your big girl panties and explain to them why the comment was hurtful or offensive. Sometimes, people simply do not have perspective or know what they are saying is wrong or hurtful, especially when they are from a different generation where segregation was the norm, women had no reproductive rights, were required to wear pantyhose and makeup to work, etc. and so on. That said, sometimes there is an occasion, such as a job interview or a wedding when it's appropriate to wear the proper undergarments, dress appropriately and groom yourself. Perhaps one of those occasions was forthcoming and this was a poor choice of words on your relatives' behalf. It's not too late to have a conversation about it! You could probably both take something valuable away from it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S. No one is trying to shut you up or punish you for speaking out about something troubling. Just offering a suggestion to navigate these situations with less hurt and confusion. You can eliminate a lot of drama by not taking things personally and not making assumptions.

      Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for sharing your opinion.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for reading and taking it into consideration. This is not "the offender" by the way...(Really, you think she'd know how to comment here?) I have dealt with those types of comments myself, and completely agree that women don't have a responsibility to be ornamental. Just wanted to let you know that just because someone is clueless that their words were problematic, it doesn't mean they are rotten and should be shut out. If you discuss the problem and give them an opportunity to make it right, and they don't... Then you can rethink how to handle it.

      Delete
  2. Just be yourself. Even Wellman meaning people can be wrong and hurtful. Never lose sight of yourself and don't allow others to influence you. You are an awesome human being who has so much to contribute to this empty world.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're AWESOME! When I was your age my family would go out of their way to downplay any compliments people gave me....."don't tell her she's pretty it will go to her head" "you're not that pretty" Even last year, when I saw our 90 year old aunt for the first time in 10 years, she said "oh, aren't you pretty"......my older sister (she's 65 and I am 50) chimed right in....."she's not any prettier than the rest of us".....God bless my aunt because she said "that may be the case, but, I can tell her she's pretty if I want to because she is pretty to me!" For 50 years, I have tried to downplay how I look, couldn't take compliments without feeling shame and have dealt with self-esteem issues ever since. DO NOT LET ANYONE, I don't care WHO make you feel bad about who you are, what you like and what you plan for yourself.
    When my daughter was little I bought her a book "God Made Me Special" because she was feeling insecure and I wanted to nip that in the bud right away. She is now 26 and still has that book.
    I hope you continue being your AWESOME self and look forward to reading more about your adventures in life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are beautiful no matter what anyone says. Thank you for the support.

      Delete
  4. Anna, you are loved and supported by many. I would have a chat 28th that person so as not to set them straight, but to tell them how much you love and appreciate them and how off-base they were. Glad you can laugh about it now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Awesome Anna,

    One good horror story deserves another, because, unfortunately, it’s how we connect as women to learn from one another what’s true. It’s also how we heal from those things in life that drive us to the bathroom for a few minutes of figuring out “What just happened?” It’s that “I’ll show you my scars, if you show me yours” salve we apply to one another from a place of kindness and knowing. We can laugh, we can cry, we can say “What the f***?” together and marvel at how we came out the other side to be fabulous in spite of the ways in which some of our “freak show” relatives try to steal our awesomeness.

    I once was a little girl who looked up to her big sister (still do), and when she reached the age of wearing make up (she was three years older), I watched with interest as she applied color to her already beautiful face. And, because my big sister was kind -- she shared most everything with me -- we spent an afternoon playing make up. She sat me in a chair, put on the powder, the blush, the eye shadow, curled my eyelashes and mascaraed them to luxurious lengths. Once I was done, she handed me a mirror and told me how beautiful I was, bragged on how long my eyelashes were, and made me feel so pretty -- something I thought I never was.

    I was so happy to be “pretty” (pretty was the goal, according to my mother) too, to have someone make a fuss over me, and I wanted to share it. I went to find my mother to show her my sister’s handiwork, hoping she would tell me how pretty I was (she said it often to my sister, but never me), hoping if I was pretty she would love me more. After relaying all of the compliments my sister had given me while making me up and waiting for my mother’s reaction, there was a pause. My mother looked at me without much expression and very pointedly she told me how vain I was. At nine or ten years of age I was vain. It stuck. I’m 56 years old and still feel vain when I wear make up. I still hear that voice that stung so long ago when I’m feeling raw -- “What makes you think you’re so special.” No, it’s not just one story, I have others.

    And, you can’t compare one story to another, as each wielding of horror by someone who is supposed to love us and lift us up carries the same power to make us second guess and doubt what’s true.

    You’re way ahead of the game, Girlfriend. You can laugh at the ridiculous and you have one awesome mama to help you put things in perspective, but even more you know in all of your awesomeness what’s important in life, and it sure as hell isn’t make up and wearing dresses. That’s evident simply by your writing of this posts. You already know the answer, Darlin, and that’s so much ahead of where I was at your age. I’m excited for you.

    No one can heal the wound of hurtful and careless words but you. The best way to do that is by being honest with yourself (deciding what’s important and what has worth) and by being truthful and “out there” about what happened. You told the story of those who wielded horror with their words, you didn't hide it away and keep it secret. You may be too kind to tell this close relative, directly, what their words meant to you (they most likely wouldn’t get it, people like that never seem to), but you have told the story and said it out loud. You laid it out for all to see and comment on, so here’s my comment.

    You, Dear Anna, are so very awesome because you know your worth and you have the power to recognize ridiculous when you see and hear it. You took a moment to pause and drink in the hurt, then you spit it out, ridding yourself of the poison someone tried to feed you in the form cake. :o) I wish I knew at such a young age that I didn’t have to swallow everything that others tried to feed me. Hugs and love, ~~Michele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry you had to experience that. Thank you for all the support. It means a lot.

      Delete
  6. In my profession, wearing makeup is a TOTAL faux pas. I'm an art conservator, and work in libraries and museums preserving and fixing priceless books and works of art. Anyone in a conservation lab would think you were a total lunatic if you showed up with a face full of makeup. I'm pretty sure that this standard holds for not only my field, but for many women in professional settings.

    I very much appreciate it when young women like yourself stand up to what some think is a societal norm, because in many places - it's not normal at all! Furthermore, I have a young daughter, and I love that there are so many strong young women's voices out there which at some point will serve as inspiration and support.

    So, when you come interview with me for a position as a professional, I ain't looking at your face, babe. I'm looking at your intelligence, your ability, and your capacity to be a kind leader to those around you. Keep on keepin' on! xoxo -genevieve

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have nothing against makeup. It is just not for me. As you mentioned, for some people it would be crazy to wear makeup to work or elsewhere. Thank you for your feedback and support.

      Delete
  7. I don't wear much make up either - and rarely do these days - I hate the gunk feeling it gives me. I'll occasionally put it on for a special occasion, but most of the time - I'm me :) I'm open mouthed that someone even said something to you about it! Just carry on being yourself. And keep laughing :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Anna, I don't know if I'll appear as 'Anonymous' but this is Linda Binns. Lil one, do you. It's your blog and you get to write what you want. Thanks for sharing your feelings and not watering it down to please the masses. I've worked in the legal field for 31 years. i used to wear a lil makeup, when I was younger, now, I don't give a dang, and don't wear any, lol. It's such an individual preference that no one gets to tell you how to be you. Keep being awesome, Anna. Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey Anna!
    I thought you were incredible and gorgeous and extremely funny when I met you in TExas. You don't need makeup to show the world how beautiful you are. I salute you for standing up to them. I only wear eyebrow makeup and mascara and chapstick as I have no eyebrows and my eyelashes are very short...so for me...I like to at least know I have them and people can see that I have them a little bit LOL. I cannot wear other makeup as I am allergic to a lot of stuff. Plus I watch people....it takes WAY too long to put it on! and I think people should show who they really are underneath that "facade". I hope you are coming to Boise so we can raise heck! ;)
    Kristen from Utah

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh yes...I hate wearing dresses too...I can tolerate them for three hours in church and off they go after that three hours and the sweatpants go on! :) Kristen

    ReplyDelete
  11. Someday this will not matter to you. You will look back with conviction that the relative was out of line.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Anna. I am so glad that you have the self awareness to realize what the heck just happened and that you know yourself well enough to let it bounce off you. People say some mean and inconsiderate things sometimes, whether they mean to or not. And it's so important to have those strong moments in your life where you know that you are worthy of your own love and appreciation, no matter what they carelessly say.

    Make up. No make up. Doesn't matter. Do what makes you feel proud and brave and that makes you beautiful. The people that matter, including yourself, see that beauty.

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete